A priceless collection of nearly 2,000 gold coins was discovered off the coast of Israel — the largest treasure ever found in that country.
Scuba divers discovered the coins, originally thinking they were toy coins from a game. Once they realized that they were in fact real, they got other members of their diving club to help them fish out the rest. In all, the collection weighs nearly 20 pounds.
The coins are in a variety of denominations, and were circulated by the Fatimid Caliphate, who ruled much of the Middle East and Northern Africa, from 909 to 1171.
So how did the coins get there? Among speculations are theories of a shipwrecked treasury boat on its way to Egypt or a merchant ship that traded with cities along the Mediterranean Sea.
The Israeli Antiquities Authority plans to carry out more excavations in the area in hopes to discover the true origin of the treasure. It also declined to put a cash value on the find.
Courtesy of The Guardian